JAC Board Class 7 Social Science Notes History Chapter 4 The Mughal Empire
→ In the middle age, Mughals had a very powerful empire. From the latter half of the sixteenth century till the seventeenth century, they expanded their kingdom from Agra and Delhi and controlled nearly over all the subcontinent.
→ Who were the Mughals?
- The Mughals were the successor of the two great descent of rulers.
- From their maternal side, they were the descendants of Genghis Khan and from their paternal side, they were the descendant of Timur. However, Mughals were proud of their Timurid ancestry. They celebrated their genealogy pictorially.
→ Mughal Military Campaigns
- The first Mughal emperor, Babur captured Delhi and Agra by defeating Ibrahim Lodi in the battle of Panipat in the year 1526.
- After the death of Babur in 1530, his son Humayun became the second Mughal emperor.
- Humayun was defeated by Sher Khan twice in Chausa (1539) and Kanauj (1540) and forced him to flee to Iran. He recaptured Delhi in 1555 with the help of Safavid Shah but died in an accident a year later.
- At the age of 13 years, Akbar became the emperor of Delhi. He was handling
the empire successfully as he was very competent. He seized Chittor in 1568 and Ranthambhor in 1569. He started the military campaign in Gujarat during the period 1570-1585 which was followed by the campaigns in Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. In 1605, Akbar died.
- Jahangir became emperor in 1605, he was the son of Akbar. He continued the military campaigns started by Akbar. He campaigned against Sikhs and Ahoms. He died in the year 1627.
- Shah Jahan continued the campaign in the Deccan. Amongst Shah Jahan’s sons there was a conflict over succession. Aurangzeb was victorious and his three brothers were killed including Dara Shukoh in Agra, Shah Jahan was imprisoned for the rest of the life. He died in the year 1666.
- Aurangzeb succeeded the throne and one of his major campaign was against Maratha chieftain Shivaji. Initially, Aurangzeb got success but later on Shivaji became an independent king and resumed campaigns against Mughals.
- Marathas started the guerrilla warfare hence from 1698, Aurangzeb personally managed campaigns. He also faced revolt in north India of the Jats, Sikhs and Satnamis.
→ Mughal Traditions of Succession
Mughal followed the Timurid custom of coparcenary inheritance means a division of the inheritance amongst all the sons. They didn’t believe in the rale of primogeniture or birthright, where the eldest son inherited his father’s estate.
→ Mughal Relations with Other Rulers
- Mughal campaigned constantly against rulers who refused to accept their authority. But many rulers also joined them voluntarily as the Mughals became powerful. The Rajputs were the one who joined. Many of them married their daughters into Mughal families and received high positions. But many were against them as well like the Sisodiya Rajputs.
- However, they were honourably treated by the Mughals even if defeated, given their lands (watan) back as assignments (watanjagir).
→ Mansabdars and Jagirdars
- The people who joined Mughal service were enrolled as Mansabdars. They were an individual who holds a mansab which means to hold a position or a rank.
- Mughals used a grading system to fix three things viz; rank, salary and military responsibilities.
- Zat was a numerical value which determined the rank and salary.
- Mansabdars received their salary as revenue assignments known as jagirs which were similar to iqtas.
- Jagirs were carefully assessed during the Akbar’s reign so that their salary were more or less equal to the mansabdar. But it was not same in the reign of Aurangzeb means the actual revenue collected was often very less from the granted sum. Hence, many jagirdars tried to extract as much revenue as possible while they had a jagir.
→ Zabt and Zamindars
- The term zamindar was used to describe all intermediaries, whether they were local headmen of villages or powerful chieftains.
- Akbar’s revenue minister, Todar Mai did a survey on crop yield and based on the data he fixed the tax on each crop for a ten-year period from 1570-1580.
- The revenue system was introduced by Todar Mai and was called as zabt.
- Zamindars had powers. Due to Mughal exploitation, zamindars and peasants revolted against them. Hence, from the end of the seventeenth century, it challenged the stability of the Mughal Empire.
→ A Closer Look – Akbar’s Policies
- Abul Fazl wrote Akbar Nama which gives us details about Akbar’s reign.
- As per Abul Fazl. the empire was divided into provinces known as subas and were governed by a subadar. Each province had a diwan or a financial officer.
- Subadars were supported by different officers. They were the military paymaster called as Bakhshi. the minister in charge of religious and patronage called as Sadr, military commanders known as Faujdars and town police commissioners known as Kotwal.
- Religious discussions were done at ibadat khana. Akbar got support from Abul Fazl in framing a vision of governance around the idea of Sulh-i Kul. These principles were later followed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
→ The Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century and After
- Mughal empire had administrative and military efficiency which led to economic and commercial prosperity. They enjoyed a great deal of influence and power.
- The wealthier peasantry, artisans, merchants were rising high in monetary terms and
power, whereas, the primary producers lived in poverty.
- Hence, by the end of the seventeenth century, the Mughal empire started declining which gave rise to many independent provinces like Hyderabad and Awadh.